The Dish | Curried Carrot Soup with Cheddar Straws

Warm spices, sweet root vegetables, and creamy coconut combine to make a rich soup that pairs nicely with the sharp cheddar tang of freshly baked cheese straws. Make the cheese straw dough first so it can rest in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes.

CHEESE STRAWS INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) cold salted butter
  • 2 oz fresh chevre (half a small log)
  • 6 oz strong cheddar cheese

CHEESE STRAWS DIRECTIONS:

  • In a food processor, pulse flour and butter until the butter is in small lentil-sized chunks. Add chevre and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Grate the cheddar finely and add to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combined and comes together in a soft dough.
  • Press the dough into a ball, flatten, and refrigerate in a covered dish for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400’F at the convection setting or 425’F at the bake setting.
  • Remove chilled dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll and shape dough into a fairly even-sided block about 3/4 in height. Cut in half, then cut into 24 strips.
  • Place strips evenly across a half-sheet cookie pan lined with a silicon mat or baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until straws are light brown on the edges and golden brown in the center.
  • Remove tray and let straws cool for 5 minutes before cooling them completely on a wire rack.

SOUP INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 pounds carrots (about 6 large carrots)
  • 1 pound parsnips (about 2 large parsnips)
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds or 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 10g (about a tablespoon, very loosely filled) fresh ginger root
  • 32 oz chicken stock or chicken bone broth
  • 18 oz canned coconut milk (not lite milk; about 1 1/2 cans)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (stems removed), coarsely chopped

SOUP DIRECTIONS:

  • Peel carrots and parsnips, cut in half lengthwise, then in half again. Chop strips into inch-sized chunks.
  • Grind the cumin if you are using whole seeds. Peel away and coarse or loose sections of the ginger and on a cutting board or in a pestle smash the ginger lightly. The root should remain largely intact. Count the pieces of ginger root.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan combine onions, shallots, carrots, parsnips, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until butter is melted, then lower heat slightly and cook a further 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions and shallots start to become translucent and root vegetables start to soften.
  • Turn the heat to low and stir in the dried spices: cumin, coriander, white pepper, sumac, turmeric. Cook gently, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the smashed ginger root and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken stock or broth over the vegetables and spices, cover, turn heat to medium, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft all the way through. Turn off heat, uncover, and let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release heat.
  • Take note of how many chunks of crushed ginger were added to the soup, and remove them and discard. (If a few shreds remain, that’s fine.)
  • Scoop the liquid and all the cooked vegetables into a blender and combine until smooth. Pour soup back into the pot, add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Heat through until gently bubbling, then serve with freshly chopped coriander leaves as garnish. Reserve a few leaves to put into individual soup bowls.

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